The Cubs completed a couple of minor trades today, sending 25 year- old AAA outfielder Buck Coats to the Reds, and 26 year-old AAA LHP reliever Clay Rapada to the Tigers.
Coats was drafted in the 18th round of the 2000 first-year player draft by the Cubs, and was hitting .303 with 11 homers at Iowa. Coats profiles as no more than a 4th/5th outfielder in the majors. The Cubs will recieve a PTBNL in the deal.
The Tigers' acquisition of Rapada completes the Craig Monroe deal. He was 7-2 with a 3.58 ERA and 17 saves at AAA, while holding lefties to a .158 average. Rapada figures to make it in the show strictly as a LOOGY-- possibly even in Detroit for the stretch run. It had been speculated here that Will Ohman might have been the lefty sent to the Motor City. Now it looks like he'll be one of the half-dozen or so that get called up in September when the rosters are expanded.
Credit to Maddog over at ACB for pointing this out-- Following these deals, the Cubs' 40-man roster currently sits at 39, which probably means there is some kind of trade in the works. Lou had mentioned a while back that he wanted another reliever. Not reallly sure who he or Hendry may have had in mind.
Obviously neither of these trades means a lot to the big picture. There are a lot more important things to be concerned with in Cubdom-- like tonight's rubber match with the Brew Crew. Ted Lilly will go for his 14th victory against Milwaukee's promising young southpaw Manny Parra. St. Louis lost 2-1 earlier today in Houston, so the Cubs will have a chance to pick up ground on both the Cardinals and Brewers.
This is the last time the Cubs and Brewers will tangle this year, leaving the upcoming stretch of 4 games against St. Louis as the key series of the season. With that said, is there any question that tonight's game is the biggest one of the year so far?